High desert drifter

Day 22 Thursday 25th July 2013 – Bend, OR to Meridian, ID

My target destination for the day was Boise, ID and for most the day I rode through the high desert. It’s a desolate place, except for the odd spots where thousands of gallons of water must be pumped to keep them green and grow crops. The landscape predominantly flat, and the roads straight and long, and sagebrush dominates.

From Oregon, July 2013
From Oregon, July 2013

I’d chosen the less direct Route 76 to take me into Idaho. It was getting real hot, and whilst beautiful, the long straights through the desert were becoming monotonous long before I crossed the state line.

From Oregon, July 2013
From Idaho, July 2013

At a rest break at Roman Station, I seemed to be attracting more critters. First one came to say Hi.

From Oregon, July 2013

And then mum and siblings turned up to.

From Oregon, July 2013

Once into Idaho, the landscape becomes rockier and more interesting as I climbed into the hills.

From Idaho, July 2013
From Idaho, July 2013
From Idaho, July 2013
From Idaho, July 2013

And then I was through the hills and dropping down into the valley as it opens out into cultivated lushness with cornfields irrigated by the Snake River – a river I would meet again.

From Idaho, July 2013

A green and pleasant land. The smell of fields of mint permeates the ride into Nampa.

From Idaho, July 2013

Idaho car licence plates always make me smile. Lots of states have slogans on their plates. California is the Golden State, Texas is the Lone Star State, Illinois is the Land of Lincoln. Idaho’s slogan is Famous Potatoes. Well I guess they’re proud of their potatoes.

On my way into Boise, I pulled off the freeway I’d now joined, and stopped at “that” burger place for an iced tea, but mainly wifi access to check out my lodging options for the evening.

I’d been keen to see Boise, every since James Joyce Soles, but like many of America’s bigger cities, the downtown area seemed to have only a few expensive hotels. All the cheap motels are out of town, just off the highway.

Much as I’d liked to have seen Boise, not for $200 a night. I opted instead to stay in Meridan – which I guess is a suburb of Boise. It was meant to have a decent biker bar, the Busted Shovel.

I couldn’t get a motel within walking distance, so I rode into town and parked outside. Aside from it’s logo, it didn’t seem like much of a biker bar. Outside the Trooper was the only bike, and inside in looked like a regular sports bar.

But it did serve cold beer and a decent Philly Steak sandwich. Unfortunately, before I left a group of what I’d describe in the UK as Townies came in and put some dreadful R&B shite on the jukebox. So much for biker bar.

As I’d ridden to the bar, I’d limited myself to just 2 of the smaller American pints (British pints are 20% bigger), but as I walked outside I regretted even that.

Across the street 3 cop cars were parked up. I just hoped they weren’t pulling everyone over to came out of the bar and got in or on a vehicle. Even though I wasn’t over the limit, I could just do without any official business with America’s Law Enforcement for whatever reason. Fortunately, that wasn’t their game, and I rode back to the motel unmolested.

 

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